For many, a desk phone is an integral part of the workday, whether dialing into meetings, answering support phone calls, or connecting with customers and business associates. But if your workforce is restricted from entering the office, how will they be able to use their business phones?
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated a gap in many companies’ business continuity plans, leaving IT leaders scrambling to equip their workforces with voice or calling capabilities. The following considerations and best practices apply for any local or global crisis such as a wildfire, tornado, blizzard, bad storm, transportation strike, or virus outbreak that could prevent business-as-usual in a traditional office.
Turn your laptop into a softphone. When your teams don’t have access to their desk phones, using a laptop device as a softphone is a great alternative. A softphone offers the ability to place and receive calls from anywhere that has an internet connection. Just as the handset on your desk does, the softphone offers features such as voicemail, call transfer, caller ID, call forwarding, audio conferencing, and more. When it is necessary to rapidly enable a remote workforce, a softphone is easier for IT leaders to quickly deploy and manage than physical handsets. By simply distributing or making a software application available for download, your workforce can have instant access to and use of their business phone line.
Check your internet connection. The stronger the internet connection the better for softphone usage. We recommend using a wired connection if possible to minimize audio quality issues. If you are using wifi, consider reviewing recommendations from PCMag or Lifehacker on how to boost your signal.
Use the right peripherals. The quality of headsets and earbuds vary widely. Finding the right headset or earbuds can drastically improve the user experience when it comes to softphones. Headphones that may work well for listening to music do not offer the same quality experience when on a phone call. We recently shared a list of headsets and earbuds to use while working remotely.
Enable your team. We understand that change is always hard, especially when it comes to moving away from something so familiar as a desk phone. Our training team has created short videos to help your team quickly understand how to use a softphone and leverage all of the main features that you have come to expect from a full-functioning business phone.
Consider the alternatives. If for whatever reason you are unable to leverage your laptop as a softphone, there are other options.
The Fuze Mobile app provides the same rich experience for our customers as Fuze Desktop, but from your mobile device. Fuze Mobile puts the power and flexibility of your business phone on your iPhone or Android, giving you the ability to make/receive calls from your business line, attend meetings, and send messages.
Fuze customers can always use the Fuze Web application to make and receive calls, no download required. Just enter your Fuze credentials and you are off and running. For help using Fuze Web, visit our Help Center.
Fuze customers can also resort to bringing their physical desk phones home. Refer to best practices published on the Fuze Help Center for setting up your deskphone at home. Be sure to pay attention to what is required of your network device in order to use your Fuze desk phone from home.
One more thing to keep in mind. For emergency calls, we strongly advise the use of a non-Fuze calling method, such as a cell phone, desk phone, or home phone instead of Fuze Desktop or Fuze Web. Otherwise, you may incorrectly be associated with the Fuze user profile address at the time of the emergency call.